Click here to show or hide the menubar.

Home >  Archive >  2010 >  March >  10

Previous / Next

Please fix WordPress for podcast feeds
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 6:01 AM.

Jay and I use WordPress to do the site. permalink

It's a mixed bag. On the pro side, we both know how to use WordPress, and because Jay writes the show notes and I do the tech stuff, it's a good tool to put between us.  permalink

But WordPress doesn't do podcast feeds well.  permalink

And that's being generous.  permalink

Here's how the UI works currently. You edit your post and link to an MP3 or a movie or an AVI or some other media object. The first one that WP encounters as it parses your text, it will supposedly turn into an enclosure. If you happen to link to two MP3s but the second is the enclosure, you're out of luck. And for some reason if you store the MP3 on Amazon S3, as we do, it usually doesn't even find the enclosure. But this is variable. Today they've hacked up our link to point to some server on, totally without our permission. What a mess. And even so there's no enclosure in our feed for this week's show (which btw I think is one of our best, one I hope everyone listens to). permalink

For the last three episodes of our podcast, it's failed to add an enclosure element to the feed. As a result none of our listeners get the podcast on time, and it always takes some fussing by the WordPress tech people to get it working, and for all I know a bunch of people never hear the podcast. I suppose it depends on whether or not the client sees an item as read if the guid doesn't change but all of a sudden the item has an enclosure. Imho a proper podcast client would just watch the guid, and therefore would miss the enclosure. Regardless, it's simply unacceptable that WordPress work this way and that Automattic doesn't do something to fix it. permalink

This is how we did it in Radio 8, in 2002, eight years ago. permalink

Here's a screen shot.  permalink

A picture named radioForEnclosuresThumb.gif permalink

Click the screen shot for the full effect. permalink

See the red arrow pointing to the box called Enclosure? That's where you paste the link to the enclosure. Anyone no matter how technical they are not, could be taught to do that correctly.  permalink

We never had the problem WordPress is having. Granted a lot fewer people did podcasts then than now. Maybe. I'd argue that the way WordPress works now is killing the art of podcasting because it's so unpredictable and it's virtually got the market cornered. Regardless, I'm a paying customer, and I'd like to continue to use WordPress, but eventually I'm going to have to switch because it's killing our product. permalink

Please Matt and company, fix this! permalink

PS: I wish was more hackable, if there was a way for me to patch our feed I could fix this without their help. Alas it's not something I can fix myself and I don't have any interest in running my own installation or fussing around with PHP etc. permalink

RSS feed for Scripting News
This site contributes to the community river.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last update: Wednesday, June 09, 2010 at 2:14 AM Eastern. Last build: 8/26/2012; 5:39:56 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS feed for Scripting News

Previous / Next